So, I haven’t had much to say since that glorious 20-miler, because after that, I ended up benched with a bum knee. I tried to run an easy 5 with Jeff on Tuesday, and it was just a bad idea. My knee hurt the whole time and I was practically limping by the end.
Last Wednesday I spent an hour on the stationary bike (booooring!) and took Thursday totally and completely off–and still felt like it wasn’t getting much better. After my chiropractor casually mentioned that he thought I might have a stress fracture (JERK!) I finally broke down and made an appointment at the Orthopedic Institue to see a sports medicine doctor and get some answers.
I went in Friday morning and had x-rays taken, and as soon as the doctor came in he said those were clean (thank you God!) and then did some bending/twisting of my knee before settling on a diagnosis: synovial plica irritation. After meeting with a trainer to have a gait analysis done, it was determined that I let my shoes go for too many miles (which sucks because I’ve HAD a pair of new ones for like 4 weeks, I just didn’t think I needed to break them out yet…idiot) and that I have weak hips and glutes. My gait was actually very good they said, and not likely the cause of any problems. So they gave me some exercises to do to strengthen up my weak muscles and told me to cross train my little heart out until Tuesday or Wednesday.
I immediately ran off to the gym and got in an hour on the elliptical, and spent Saturday pool running and on the elliptical for the 2 hours and 15 minutes I would have been running for that day’s scheduled 14-miler. A little dull, but I was so happy to be doing SOMETHING, you know? Not to be a total girl about it, but those couple days where I just biked/took completely off I felt like a COW.
The pain in my knee started to get better, and I did feel ready to run again Tuesday, and thankfully Joseph (runner coach-friend) put together a great comeback plan for this week. I ran 5 slow Tuesday and Wednesday (on the treadmill for cushion), cross-trained Thursday, 7 Thursday (a little faster) and finally got to head outside today for a slow 10. My knee still has some definite tightness in it, but no pain. I’m still icing all the time (my husband jokes that the bag of ice has basically become an extension of my body) and taking ibuprofen, but I think I’m good. Dr. Sports Medicine even said that if things weren’t perfect before I leave for Philly, he’d shoot my knee up with some cortisone, because there was no way I’d miss the marathon. Just what I needed to hear, doc : )
I was supposed to run 20 today, and I’m toying with doing that next Saturday–2 weeks out from the marathon. Joseph thinks it’s ok, and he certainly hasn’t lead me astray yet…but I’m still not sure. I DO want to get those hours in on the road though, especially for my stomach’s sake. Having a happy tummy is truly my biggest concern for race day. I’m actually thinking about going to the doctor once the marathon is over to see if I have celiac disease or something, because my stomach really is upset almost more often than not.
I was feeling awfully sorry for myself that week I couldn’t run, and coming back slowly is obviously trying on one’s patience. I spent a lot of time toiling over how this would affect my marathon time–how much slower will I be? Will it be harder now? And then I stopped acting like a crazy person and realized the extra rest/easy weeks were something my body needed–or this wouldn’t have happened. I’ve gotten myself back to a happy place where I’ve decided that maybe these easy weeks will even benefit me in the long-run…pun intended. (Also, if I ever get a real serious injury that takes me out for weeks, I’m going to be insufferable, FYI.)
Jeff said something to me on our run this morning that almost made me choke up–that the easy miles and the time off didn’t make me any less of a runner. Funny how I kind of didn’t feel like one for a couple weeks there, but he’s right.
I’m still a runner.